Having good mental health means we are better able to connect, function, cope and thrive. The widespread application of digital technology in daily life provides new ways and promising tools for residents to maintain their mental health. Given the importance of mental health for everyone, and the fact that mental health problems are prevalent worldwide, this study discusses how digital lives affects the mental health of residents. The results suggest that digital lives are significantly and positively associated with mental health. Mechanisms analysis identifies personal perceptions (self-rated physical exercise and subjective wellbeing) as the important paths for digital lives to promote mental health, while social perceptions (social trust and social fairness) play a suppressing effect on the relationship between them. The results of further discussion show that the degree of the influence of digital lives on mental health of individuals is heterogeneous among different regions. Due to the difference in development level, the positive impact of digital lives is greater in urban areas than in rural areas, and it is stronger in western regions than in eastern and central regions. This study enriches the nascent research stream of digitalization, explores new paths of harnessing digital technologies for mental health, and offers useful insights for the government to guide them in formulating digital development strategies and achieving the Healthy China Strategy.
Chen, Y., Wei, M., & Ortiz, J. (2022). How do digital lives affect resident mental health in the digital era? Empirical evidence based on Chinese general social survey. Frontiers in public health, 10, 1085256. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2022.1085256
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Frontiers in public health